I started my yoga practice in 2009 and in 2019, I enrolled in a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program with a trauma informed and social justice lens. I took the training because I had a strong interest in learning more about the Eastern roots and philosophy of yoga and how it tied to social justice. Prior to this training, I felt a strong pull to walk more boldly in my spiritual path.I was no stranger to Eastern philosophy as I was raised in a Buddhist household. Buddhism and yoga share the ultimate goal, which is liberation from suffering. Understanding how the physical practice of asana (yoga postures) is a metaphor for our life and how it represents the challenges we face made perfect sense. Connecting breath to movement, learning to be comfortable in discomfort and finding peace in stillness allows us to connect to our bodies and feel with our heart.
What Does Yoga Have To Do With Social Justice?
Yoga in Sanskrit means “union” and Ahimsa is “non-harming” and is the first of five Yamas, which is one of the 8 limbs of yogic philosophy. Harm does not just mean physical, but it also includes our thoughts and actions towards others and ourselves. Practicing yoga is a way to see ourselves as we truly are and recognizing that we are all one. This includes releasing ego (Asmita), which is one of 5 Kleshas and the root of all of our pain and suffering in our human experience. All of our suffering is connected and when one suffers, we all suffer.
In Western culture we are conditioned to hide emotions and focus on our intellect and knowledge. When we detach from our heart center, we detach from love and we operate in fear. This fear shows up in many ways, including the oppressive systems of racism, sexism, and other forms of injustice. The practice of yoga is spiritual and when we deepen our practice and take the healing and tools off the mat, we can begin the path to our own liberation and the collective healing of our communities.
It is clear to me that the transformational practice of yoga and social justice work are intertwined.
As a yoga teacher, I knew right away that I wanted to help people cultivate a yoga practice that focuses on their own liberation and subsequently the collective healing of our communities through social justice work.
I provide access to the healing power of yoga to everyone, while providing an inclusive and welcoming space for all. As an educator, I work with yoga teachers, studios, groups and individuals who have a strong desire to learn what it means to embody yoga and create inclusive spaces for BIPOC.
YOGA IS UNITY. YOGA IS SOCIAL JUSTICE
IT BEGINS WITH YOU
I wanted my logo to be a reminder that all change begins with each of us.
Represents each individual, doing their inner work. Transformation begins with individual change. Yoga is the unity of all and the paths towards liberation, the path towards living our higher consciousness. Through the practice of yoga we can begin to see ourselves more clearly, we start to release the ego.
With clear vision and listening to truth, we become aware of the division within our communities and recognize the need to fill the gaps to bring our community together through action. We are one and what harms one, harms all. We embody the practice of yoga and take the work off the mat to help alleviate and prevent harm to others.
As we take actions, we create movement and we start to see the changes. Each action we take creates a ripple effect of healing as we begin to close the gaps of inequity and suffering of our fellow beings.
We see our collective communities united, healed and transformed.